Religion: Blessed Are the Debonair

Preaching was once the beating heart of Protestantism. John Knox could hold a congregation rapt and on its feet for three hours, and Jonathan Edwards used to keep the attention of New England Congregationalists for a good two hours at a stretch. Today the model of a modern minister is expected to occupy the pulpit for a scant 20 minutes of a Sunday and put in hours on end as an amateur psychiatrist, sociologist and group-activities organizer. Yet there are still a few top-notch preachers around to keep the Protestant tradition alive.

One of...

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